An email Donald Trump’s campaign recently sent out attempts to perpetuate the absurd belief by anti-Clinton people who often say that CNN stands for the “Clinton News Network.” This sort of rhetoric is also part of Trump’s on-going push to claim that this year’s election will be “rigged” and the media is playing a big part in helping Hillary Clinton become our next president.
Here’s what the email said:
Friend, a CNN anchor [Chris Cuomo] acknowledged that the media has given Hillary Clinton a “free ride”: “We couldn’t help her any more than we have. She’s got a free ride so far from the media. We’re the biggest ones supporting her campaign.”
Obviously any Trump supporter coming across this email is thrilled with this seemingly indisputable evidence that one of their conspiracies about Clinton is true. After all, there’s a very prominent CNN anchor admitting what Trump and other Republicans have been saying this whole time: That CNN (as well as most of the mainstream media) is in the back pocket of Hillary Clinton.
Now, it is absolutely true that Cuomo said this. There’s just one slight catch — he said it over two years ago on June 9, 2014. At that time, Clinton was ten months away from officially launching her campaign. Furthermore, what they were actually discussing was her 2014 book, Hard Choices: A Memoir, and how the publicity she was receiving because of the book’s promotional tour was giving her some “free” media attention.
The entire discussion was basically a tongue-in-cheek reference to the fact that, even in 2014, most people knew she was going to run for president this year and this book tour was clearly part of her build up to her eventual announcement on April 12, 2015. All Cuomo was referring to was the fact that her book tour had ignited a media frenzy of speculation over whether or not she was going to run in 2016.
Or to put it in another way: What Cuomo meant when he used the word “free ride” was the very same sort of “free” media attention Trump has been exploiting for over a year. She was getting a “free ride” because the attention her book-promotion was receiving from the media wasn’t costing her anything.
In fact, just before Cuomo said the comment highlighted in the Trump campaign email, the CNN host applauded Diane Sawyer’s rather intense vetting of Clinton during a recent interview:
I was actually happy that Diane pressed her the way she did. You know, it’s a dicey move because when Hillary becomes candidate and becomes the presumptive candidate, that can come back and hurt you.
So, not only did the Trump campaign use a quote that was over two years old to help perpetuate their growing list of asinine conspiracy theories, but what was being discussed by CNN’s Chris Cuomo at that time had absolutely nothing to do with what his campaign claimed was being discussed.
Either Trump’s campaign was too incompetent to find out when this quote was said, or they used it in a blatant attempt to fabricate something that wasn’t true.
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